No Further Questions – Gillian McAllister

This is the third book by Gillian McAllister.  Honestly I cant remember how I found the books, but when the writing makes you feel like your spending time with an old friend its easy to forget that this is only number three! ( it might also be because at one part the book refers to somewhere as “Malory Towers for dogs” which I read two days after a frantic hunt for the perfect kennels for our pups, so I completely related)

I received this book from the amazing people at Michael Joeseph in June and devoured the book in two days, however they have asked that we wait until a week before to tell you about it – so here goes: 

‘No further questions’ is the tragic story of sisters, Becky and Martha, separated by tragedy that makes everyone question what really happened.  The book is based in the court room, where we are learning what happened to Baby Layla, and who is to blame for her not being here anymore. 

We learn that Martha has always wanted to help others, its her nature. When she has the opportunity for her own charity she grabs it with both hands.  Having a new baby makes this challenging; she doesn’t want to miss opportunities to help people who have nothing and no one else. Her younger sister Becky feels less fortunate, with one son and now separated from the father she feels that Martha judges her a little. She’s struggling with her job and feels that she is the lesser sister. When Martha offers her a job as Laylas nanny she sees the opportunity to get her life back on track.no further questions image.jpg

As we hear the witness statements we also learn that person’s memories from that day, what they really thought but wont say, or aren’t asked on the stand.  One of the narratives is from the Judge, which I really liked, it felt like an insight into their ways, how they deal with things, and how you can easily take your work home with you.

Layla was in Beckys care when she died, but after confessing to having had a few drinks she maintains her Innocence even though she doesn’t remember. She didn’t hurt Layla. She would remember that surely? Yes the crying was getting to her but not to that extent.  Her son was so easy in comparison.

I’ll admit I had a suspicion who I thought had done it. (Early on I made the assumption someone had to have intentionally or accidentally killed Layla) I quickly dismissed the idea because we knew they couldn’t have, even thought it was a lightbulb moment when I thought it. As we went through the witness statements and versions of the truth it was obvious something wasn’t quite right, and people knew it. Did Becky really do it? Was it Marc her ex? Who else might have been there?

The family are torn by the trial, Becky and Martha aren’t allowed to communicate. Becky is living with their parents, and her son is living with his dad.  It’s an all-consuming topic and really they just need closure.

I really enjoyed the book, I wasn’t surprised at how it happened, but that’s more because it felt like a natural explanation and completely believable. (And for those of you who were wondering yes I guessed right, even though Id pretty much talked myself out of it before id decided who it was!)

The book is out on 4th October 2018, but its available to pre order now. Go go go!

Official Description:

The police say she’s guilty.
She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.
You loved her.
You trusted her.
But they say she killed your child.

Who do you believe?

 

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